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Thread: Something very different from Harley Davidson

  1. #1
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Something very different from Harley Davidson

    Interesting article:

    http://www.cycleworld.com/2014/06/19...-photos-video/

    Harley has been very low-key about their new water-cooled bikes, and now this, a concept electric motorcycle!

    Harry
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

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    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    It will take 30-40 Amps just to simulate the loud pipes.... gotta save them lives ya know.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  3. #3
    Fred Trimble
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    Well, I'm baffled as to why Harley is doing this, unless there are Motorcycle mileage laws that are going to kick-in sometime in the next 10-15 years that I don't know about (since I'm a Detroit guy, I pay more attention to automobile laws).

    So, a little background. I've been either running test cells for Ford or Project Managing test cell projects to various internal combustion guys for the last 35 years. (yeah, some battery and electric motor test projects in the last 5 years, also).

    I see the following as the current stoppers to any widespread electric vehicle market:

    1) The big one - battery energy storage. This has to increase by a factor of 10 (at least) to make the on-board energy storage (and weight) of any electric vehicle competitive with gasoline. We want 300 miles+ (and AC, and heat, etc) for our cars. We want 200 miles+ for our bikes (300 for BMW riders ). We want our vehicles to weigh less. A breakthrough is battery technology is needed. A big one.
    2) Refueling time. How long does it take to fill up the gas tank? Yeah, less than 2-3 hours. Until a faster charge time is possible, this is going to stop me from buying an electric car (or bike)
    3) Power distribution. Our nationwide power grid is already old and inefficient. Now, let's add a couple of million (or, say 300 million) electric vehicles. My, that's a lot of power. Our grid isn't going to handle it.
    4) The Elephant in the room. Where's the power going to come from? I believe 300 million is somewhere close to the number of cars on the road. I have no idea how many trucks (um, a lot). So, build a thousand or 2 of coal plants to produce the electrical power? Not really keeping CO2 out of the atmosphere (which is the point of all this). A thousand or 2 of nuclear plants? I don't think there is a public desire to do that. So, where's the (electric) fuel coming from?

    So, unless Harley is getting some Government money (quite possible, but I don't know), it doesn't make sense for long term product development.
    Fred Trimble
    1985 K100RT
    2009 R1200RT

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    Registered User okiegman's Avatar
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    http://youtu.be/qlTA3rnpgzU

    Future to power production? I don't know but pretty interesting idea


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    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    So, unless Harley is getting some Government money (quite possible, but I don't know), it doesn't make sense for long term product development. .
    Various agencies of our state and federal governments have been rattling their environmental sabres about motorcycle fuel and emissions regs since the early 2000s. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that H-D will be trading carbon for electrons ... even though those electrons have to come from somewhere.

    Given the limitations you rightly point out, I seriously doubt that anyone would consider "touring" an electric motorcycle right now. But there are plenty of well-to-do folks that would ride one to work, or around town on the weekends.

    Performance-wise, you'd be hard pressed to keep up with an electric bike and there are already several niche manufacturers taking advantage of the market. At this point, H-D is behind.

    Last edited by lmo1131; 06-20-2014 at 07:23 PM. Reason: typo
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
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  6. #6
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Harley is behind in the sense that it does not have an electric motorcycle under production, but the review in my link above suggested that the Livewire concept bike handled very well, better than other electric motorcycles.

    It may be that Harley is flexing its engineering muscles, to buff up its company image.

    I would not be interested in any motorcycle that I could not tour on. And I only have room for one motorcycle.

    Harry
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

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    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    This in from a neighbor (FJR rider):

    1. I thought they'd name it the "Electric Glide".
    2. Nice, but how will it look on the back of a tow-truck?
    3. It's small. At least it will be easy to push.
    4. With a 100 mile range and 2 hours to recharge, it must have been designed with the average HOG chapter ride in mind. (Ride to the bar, eat/drink/recharge, ride home. )
    5. All those jealous, sewing-machine jokes that have been hurled at faster four-cylinder bikes are going to come home to roost.
    6. Uh what, no stereo?
    7. Does that come in chrome?
    8. Uh guys, nothing happens in the tunnel when you rap the throttle...
    9. Will it charge my iPhone?
    10. That's ONE way to keep it from leaking oil!

    Fred - I like your pun (3rd para.)!
    Last edited by Pauls1150; 06-20-2014 at 02:58 PM.

  8. #8
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    I like what I see. I want to ride one someday before making a final judgment.

    The responses so far seem a bit xenophobic and LDrider centric .

    H-D has spent much of the last 15 years expanding itself in the world market; first in Europe and more recently in India. On the petrol head side both of these have had different demands on the H-D line. The V-Rod tanked in the US while being a big hit in the EU. India appears to have a desire for the H-D but wanted it in a smaller version hence the 750 (In the US there is talk of taking the engine flat track racing). EV is part of the near/long range future for both these markets. The EU has a present demand. The Indian power grid may currently be a disaster but the policy for the future is to develop one to deal with growing industrial, transportation and individual demands for electricity.

    Like most of you 300 miles is my benchmark range for a vehicle. However, when I am honest with myself, for a daily rider an electric bike need only get up to the H-D Sportster peanut tank range of around 150 miles to meet my daily commute range and provide a margin of daily adventure and fun on the way home.

    I don't see myself not being a petrol head in the near future but I am pleased to see a US company of this size doing something like this.

  9. #9
    Rally Rat
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post
    Interesting article:

    http://www.cycleworld.com/2014/06/19...-photos-video/

    Harley has been very low-key about their new water-cooled bikes, and now this, a concept electric motorcycle!

    Harry
    I was at the 'Product Announcement' at Harley's Milwaukee Museum yesterday, since I had to drive the Road America 2014 Corvette Pace Car down there for the NASCAR Gardner-Denver 200 press conference.

    Had a conversation with Wilie G. Davidson - they seemed 'pumped' over this new technology. Of course, he also suggested my Pace Car have a 'sausage' mounted atop it (Johnsonville a co-sponsor of the upcoming race!), and despite being nearly 81, recently added another car (1940 Mercury) to his collection. An amazing if not somewhat eccentric guy.

    However, Thursdays is also "Bike Night" at H-D in Milwaukee and the Harley faithful were already gathering in force. They seemed less enthusiastic, to say the least and will see it in person next week. They're still trying to digest liquid cooling.
    Last edited by greenwald; 06-20-2014 at 06:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    It's not like this is the first electric powered vehicle H-D built. Willie G started with the company at about the same time as they produced their electric golf carts; '63 (?) or so.
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner
    1963 Dnepr

  11. #11
    Go Leafs Go CANADIANSTEVE's Avatar
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    I saw a few people test riding this electric Harley on a CBS news program today ... the bike does 0-60 in 4 seconds ... only one of the six riders said that he would miss the Harley sound, the other five were very impressed with the bike's performance !!! I kind of like the Harley sound myself, but it did handle very well !!! It is called the " LiveWire ".
    steve now in CT
    moved from Toronto
    92 R100RS

  12. #12
    If I was commuting to a job every work day I would buy electric in a heart beat. Even if a coal plant is producing the electricity to charge the car/bike it is far more efficient than running separate combustion engines. Now my only question is how much is the environmental impact of producing and/or recycling the batteries.
    Seek Fun. "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain--and most fools do" BF
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  13. #13
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    One major problem with electric vehicles, besides those already noted, is that all batteries have a limited number of charge/discharge cycles. Many EV car owners are discovering the shocking (sorry!) cost of replacement battery packs when the need replacement.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350, Instructor, Louisiana Dept of Public Safety
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  14. #14
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roamingbeemer View Post
    Now my only question is how much is the environmental impact of producing and/or recycling the batteries.
    Oh, please! Not more of that "Dust to Dust" nonsense. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/200...basis-in-fact/

    Harry

    PS: I drive an '07 Prius, and the hybrid battery pack is still going strong. By the way, Toyota will take that hybrid pack off my hands if it ever goes belly-up, and for free, for recycling.
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  15. #15
    Tutum amicus r184's Avatar
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    Watched the E-Bikes racing at the Isle of Man TT. They only went one lap and it was a long lap. But one word kept popping into my mind...boring...

    Also watched a vid clip of Zero trying to market their quiet E-Bikes to the Special Ops people. Yes they are very quiet, which is good. But where are you going to find a charge station to plug into for several hours in the middle of a battle zone or some remote part of the world? Not going to happen, unless they were a one charge, one use and discard them item.

    And yes, right now they are worthless for touring. About the only thing they would be good more are limited around town rides or if you had a short commute, with the guarantee of a charging station at your work.

    E-Bikes have a long way to go...

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